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Advice On Choosing A Jtv Model?


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#1 mccarticus

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:45 AM

As an avid Variax acoustic user, I want to purchase on of the JTV models- but which one? Any advice would be very welcome....

 

My situation is as follows-

 

1) The guitar will be primarily a workhorse, for gigs in particular. I play a very wide range of styles from funk and pop to classic rock and blues (even the odd metal track) often within the same set!! I need clear strat and tele sounds, and also thick and chunky distortions. Considerable variety in other words. I currently use a strat and Variax acoustic.

 

2) I never use a tremolo arm and therefore much prefer a hard-tail (stop-tail?) bridge.

 

So, in essence, a 59, 69 or 89? I like the look of the 59 but am concerned that the 3-way toggle will limit my tone choices; the 69 seems to be the most strat-like but I don't like trem arms; the 89... again is it a shredding machine or would I get a full tonal range?

 

Any advice would be much appreciated. I intend pairing the JTV with the HD500X so maybe that will make a difference (is that Mac compatible?)

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 silverhead

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 11:58 AM

All three JTV models will give you the same tonal range as far the modeled guitars go; they will differ in the tonality of the mag pickups. The 59 mags are more like a Les Paul while the 69s are more like a strat. I presume the 89s sound more like, well, metal.... :blink:

 

If you like the look of the 59 and don't want the trem I would go with the 59 (it's my favourite - I have one). The 3-way vs. 5-way switch does not limit your tone choices at all; the only difference is in the mechanics of selecting the #2 and #4 positions - you need to depress a knob as well as move the switch selector. The other thing about the 59 is that it has a slightly fatter neck than the 69 and comes with Jumbo frets - I swapped them out for regular frets almost immediately.

 

It makes no difference whether you use a Mac or PC.


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#3 jpmull

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:02 PM

Well, I have a 59 and like it a lot.  I know what you are saying about the switch.  The remaining two switch positions are accessible, but require you to depress the tuning knob to access them.  On the 69, you have all 5 positions available.

 

Keep in mind though that when paired with the HD pods, you can always switch models via the patch on the pod.  Additionally, you can move models around using Workbench.  

 

I would think about what you are playing - do you ever use all 5 positions on the Strat in the same song?  How often?  Would it suffice to move the models around so you had neck, second, and bridge or neck, fourth and bridge positions available on the three way switch?

 

My other advice would be to play them if possible.

 

Another idea if you like the 69: can you live with blocking the trem or tightening the springs so that it lays flat?  (Not sure what that would do to the setup, but I used to do it on my MIM Strat when I had it.)


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#4 stevekc

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:08 PM

I own the Variax 700 Acoustic - you will feel most at home with a JTV-59 (I own both JTV59 and JTV-69)

 

The Build quality on the JTV-59 is much closer to the Variax Acoustic 700 - both feel like a I'm playing a '57 LP Junior, which I prefer.


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#5 TheRealZap

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:13 PM

i thought i was the only one who noticed that... same headstock even!

summary: the variax acoustic, doesn't feel much like an acoustic.

 

The Build quality on the JTV-59 is much closer to the Variax Acoustic 700 - both feel like a I'm playing a '57 LP Junior, which I prefer.


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#6 arislaf

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:19 PM

Go for the 89, 24 frets, hard tail, 5 ways switch, and blood red color!!


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#7 stevekc

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:23 PM

These days 75% of my gigs are acoustic  - and my Trusty Variax 700 Acoustic is my goto guitar - the crowd listens with their eyes, and "see" an acoustic guitar - meanwhile as a player, Im able to play anything I could on a real LP  - without the typical limitations of playing a real Acoustic. 

 

http://www.vguitarfo...hp?topic=4900.0

 

I find  the audience reacts to the visual appeal of your instrument, and its mass cultural acceptance for the type of music you are performing.
 Since the Variax Acoustic 700 "looks" like an acoustic guitar, the crowd accepts and even enjoys its sound at gigs.

Conversely,  I could be playing the  exact gig and the exact same music and sound 90% the same - when i play my Tyler Variax JTV-69 "Super Strat", but the same crowd will not react the same, since they figure I'm playing an electric guitar.
I live in Wine country, and many gigs must have a "celtic" acoustic flavor - even if I'm playing "unplugged" surf instrumental tunes.

All I know is, at the outdoor patio "wine tasting room" gigs,  The tip jar fills faster when i show up with what appears to be an acoustic guitar.   

If I break out the JTV-69 Super Strat at these "sedate gigs", they grimace and hold their ears - BEFORE I play a single note , figuring I'll do something stupid like play a sex pistols  / ramones  / metalica medley.

 

260165958831-1.jpg
line-6-variax-acoustic-700.jpg


With the Variax Acoustc 700,  the Audience "sees" an Acoustic guitar, and automatically assumes they will hear soft new age natural tones, yet when I close my eyes, this guitar feels exactly like I'm playing one of these (see below) - so I'm right at home.

B001ONBCYA-1.jpg

 


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#8 mccarticus

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:40 PM

Excellent advice chaps, many thanks. I've narrowed it down to the 59 or the 89 methinks. I agree with stevekc about the visual aspect of the instrument (I always thought The Edge looked a bit odd playing U2 tunes on an Explorer...) I already own 3 LP's and an EVH so maybe it's a no-brainer- I love that shape....

 

It's a nice quandry to be in. If I can squirrel enough money away from the wife I might get both!


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#9 spmartin

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 04:05 PM

One thing that swayed me toward the JTV-69 was the fact that if I did not like the profile of the neck - I could change it!! Some players on this forum have changed the neck and been very happy. (Available at www.warmoth.com). The 59 looks beautiful and the neck through body has advantages. Just another thing to keep in mind.


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#10 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

The 69 has a perfect neck for my small hands.  I also like the Strat Scale length better than the LP.  Pick the model that fits you best.  They all have the same FW.


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#11 pugdealer

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 05:55 AM

I've had a 69 and now have a 59...

 

If you're using a POD HD500x with the guitar, than the switch "problem" doesn't exist, you just bypass the switch with the presets on the POD

 

I personally don't use the trem and prefer stop tail bridges, and so, when I had the 69, I just locked the trem...just look for videos on youtube on how to do it, it's pretty simple and cheap!

 

I'd say I have "medium" hands, and I can handle the 59's thickness just fine...it's comfortable, and once I got used to it, it felt right! But I really loved the slimmer 69's neck, and that feel of wood, not laquer (or whatever) like on the 59. Still, the main reason I traded the 69 was that thing people kept talking about...the E string slipping off the fretboard.

 

Some other thing I didn't like so much on the 69 was the bridge. It wasn't much comfortable to rest the palm on, and palm muting was not something I could just feel in control right away. On the other hand, the 59 has a f........ awesome bridge...comfortable, I could palm mute like a boss right from the start...just brilliant...

 

Modeling wise, like it's been said, they're the same...

 

I'd just like to say that, although I love my 59, cause it's very well built, beautiful, comfortable, and great to play...the 69 just wins my heart...I mean, I've always been a fender guy, specially a tele guy, but a strat looking guitar is just something that gets me all the time...If I could have a 69 with the characteristics I love so much about my 59, I'd be in guitar heaven!!!


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#12 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 06:06 AM

I think they have fixed the fretboard problem with the newer 69's.  I have seen early pictures and mine (one month old) has much better string spacing and they are away from the edge of the fretboard.


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#13 LarryWilliams

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 06:35 AM

From your original statements, it sounds like the JTV-59 is the one for you.   You will feel right at home on that one.......though it is more of  a "PRS" type feel on the right hand since there is not a separate bridge.   I too own LP's, Strats, Teles, PRS, etc...... and using the JTV-59 is very natural.    The neck feels very much like the neck on the Gibson Historic '60 Les Paul.....very much like that.   Not slim and not chunky.   Just right.    And it is really nice to have that neck with the Tele and Strat models.

 

I know everyone has their own likes and dislikes, but I just can't get into the look of the other JTV guitars.   I did own the 700 for a while, just did not like the neck on it.

 

I very rarely use a trem and the lack of it makes it much better for me.  I would rather not have the trem than to have to tighten it down or block it.   On a real Strat, I think the trem is an integral part of the sound, even if you don't use it.   But, in this case, you plan to use a model, so the trem will add nothing to the sound if you won't be using it.

 

I may upgrade the tuners on my 59.....they are smooth but they don't seem to hold as well as some others I have.  I bend the strings pretty hard.  The nut could use just a little finesse right out of the box.   But for a Korean guitar, it compares really well with the custom shop stuff that I have.   That is a really strong statement!

 

And, then look at the pretty flamed top :D  :D  :D :D  


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#14 guitarno

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:24 AM

    I have the 59, and I really love it. I originally wanted to like the 69, but I was very interested in using the alternate tunings, and I was a little concerned about a trem bridge being a problem with the tunings. Also, the only local store that actually had variax's to try out had only 3, two 59's and one 69. The 69 had a real chunky fat neck, and I really didn't like the feel of it. It was fatter than the 59 - felt a little like a Epiphone semi neck. The 59 neck is bigger than what I am used to but for some reason it felt very comfortable to me & I like it. One of the 59's they had just felt and sounded great, and that's the one I walked out with.

 

   In a way I would have liked to have a trem, but only if it was absolutely stable and stayed in tune, and that's asking a lot for any trem. I have trem on other guitars anyway. I didn't get a chance to see or play an 89, so I don't know how they compare. I thought the model switching on the 59 might be a hassle (need to hit the alt tuning knob to get the other 2 in a bank), but it's really not a problem for me. As someone said earlier if you use it with a HD500X it's even less of an issue, because you can store JTV models in every patch.

 

  I think you could be very happy with a 59. Don't know about the 89 as I haven't played one.


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#15 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:51 AM

I am surprised that the 69 you tried had a "chunky fat neck".  Mine is slimmer than my normal Strat neck - very similar to the neck on my Variax 500.  It is way slimmer than the neck on my Les Paul Std and easier for me to play.


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#16 guitarno

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 10:59 AM

    Yeah, that was kind of strange. I wasn't expecting that, I assumed it would be more like a STD strat neck profile, one of them anyways, I know there are a lot of different strat necks. The neck profile on the 69 I tried was really big. I don't know if it was an older model or a newer one, or if they changed the neck profile on these at some point. It was just too large to feel natural. Bigger than the 59, and the neck profile on my 59 is bigger than what I'm used to, but the 59 neck feels very comfortable to me.


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